09 February 2012

Smooth-billed ani, Santa Cruz

Smoothbilled anis (Crotophaga ani) were apparently introduced to the Galápagos in the 1960s by farmers because they're known to glean ticks from cattle (Rosenberg et al. 1990). They're more wary and harder to approach than the animals that evolved on the islands; they're also considered a pest species because they compete with native birds, disperse weed seeds, and potentially transmit diseases that might affect native birds.

[7 September 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 400, 1/1000 at f5.6]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor


The Elephant's Child said...

Interesting how often animals/birds/reptiles introduced into an area for all the right reasons are later reclassified as a pest species and frequently hunted down and destroyed. We are a slow learning species aren't we? Climbing down from my soap box. Interesting looking bird.

robin andrea said...

That is an interesting looking bird. Humans have sure made a mess of things.

pohanginapete said...

Elephant's Child, I suspect the introductions weren't sanctioned. In fact, modern attempts at biological control have a remarkably good safety record; earlier attempts were quite a different matter.

Robin, we sure have :^(